New York Giants: Will Hernandez Reveals Barkley’s Desire To Make A Comeback

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

Losing Saquon Barkley is one of the worst case scenarios for the New York Giants, but the team has been without the top running back since week three after Barkley sprained his ankle in the first half against Tampa. Since then, the team’s results have taken a dip with backup running back Wayne Gallman also going out of action not too long after Barkley himself was injured, and fans have been left to wonder when Barkley will come back.

Barkley’s recovery has been quicker than normal and the running back was close to making a return against either Minnesota or New England, but the team held Barkley back to avoid risking such an important player by pushing him back onto the field early during a season where it doesn’t seem like the team is doing much contending regardless of his presence.

However, just because the Giants kept Barkley out doesn’t mean that Barkley himself wants to stay out of action. In fact, all signs point to the opposite being true – rather than take this as a time to relax while the rest of the team continues to play, Barkley has shown a desire to make it back onto the field as soon as possible. That was further proven by one of Barkley’s main blockers, Will Hernandez.

“He’s kind of like a caged lion. When you cage them up and you don’t feed them, they get antsy, and as soon as you let them out of that cage they go crazy and they eat more than they would have had they not been caged in the first place. Saquon feels like he wants to be out there, he wants to play, but he can’t,” Hernandez said to Newsday. “But the minute he gets a chance to run free he’s going to take advantage of it and he’s going to make it worth watching for everybody.”

“I hope he comes back 10 times better. That would be cool to see, fun to see,” Hernandez added.

Barkley is currently a full participant in practice, which makes it look like Sunday’s clash with the Arizona Cardinals could be his return. With a 2-4 record, the Giants will need all the help they can get in clawing their way back to .500, and having a competent running game that relies on having their star player healthy would definitely help the team in that.

Still, there hasn’t been an official confirmation yet that Barkley will appear in Sunday’s game – fans will just have to wait and see what happens further in the week as practices continue and it becomes clear who will play and who won’t. Barkley, after all, may very well end up a game time decision.

New York Mets: Todd Frazier Year in Review

Todd Frazier had another “Frazier Like” year, but it was much better than his first one as a New York Met. Not quite the everyday player he was in his years before arriving in Queens, he was still a valued member of the 2019 Mets.

Frazier became known for his wild swings and flying bats, but had a very solid year as the Mets third baseman. He hit .251, his best mark since 2015 and slugged 21 home runs. He also played slightly above average defense and was a terrific clubhouse presence throughout the season.

Roller Coaster Season

Frazier was one of the streakier players on the team. He would put together spells where he looked unstoppable and at other times he would take some of the ugliest swings we have seen. Frazier had months where he hit as low as .204 and a month like September where he finished hitting .350.

He had one of the biggest hits of the season with his three run game tying home run against the Washington Nationals. At that time it seemed like the Mets were going to fully climb out of the hole they put themselves in during the first half of the season. They never did and Frazier struggled until September rolled around.

Frazier to Free Agency

Frazier is now a free agent and more than likely his Mets career is over. The Mets have an abundance of infielders, especially at the corners. They are also looking younger options as well in Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis. Jed Lowrie is also remaining on the roster and will see action at third if the stays healthy.

Grades:

Hitting for Average: B, .251 is good for Frazier’s standards

Hitting for Power: C, 21 is a solid home run number, but only 19 doubles

Defense: B+, always a steady glove at third base

Speed/Baserunning: C, not getting too much speed wise, but a smart baserunner

Intangibles: A, one of the best clubhouse guys in baseball

 

New York Yankees: The bright spots from game three loss to Astros

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

Bright spots, Luis Severino, DJ LeMahieu, Chad Green and Gleyber Torres highlighted the New York Yankees game three loss to the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series.

Had it not been for Astros ace Gerrit Cole’s stellar performance, Yankees fans might have been satisfied with Severino’s 4.1 innings of five-hit ball.  He gave up two home runs – the only runs scored by an Astros offense that scores runs in bunches. When Severino left the game, the Yankees were down by only two runs with plenty of game left.

The New York Yankees hoped Luis Severino could handle the load:

Severino’s performance comes on the heels of a regular season in which he threw only 12 innings.  He was reportedly injured, suffering right shoulder cuff inflammation and a Grade 2 lat strain.  He was out from March 28th until September 17th. Yankees fans have to be encouraged by Severino’s performance at this point in his career against the most potent offense in the league.

Chad Green followed Severino and gave a playoff-level performance. He stranded the two runners he inherited. He struck out one in two-thirds of an inning. Chad Green is spectacular after such a rough start to the season.  He was demoted between April 24th and May 12th. Since his recall, he’s been a significant contributor to the Yankees pitching success this season.

Green was an opener and a reliever this season for the Yankees, starting 15 games. His numbers shrunk over the course of the season from an early ERA of 17.55 for April to his last 30 games when he went 2.68 with a 1.01 WHIP. Green’s improvement was crucial to the Yankees 103 win season.

The Yankees offense could not sustain a rally against Cole and failed to score against him. DJ LeMahieu, however, had two hits off Cole but was unable to score the runners on base ahead of him when the opportunity arose. However, you have to tip your hat to The Machine who batted .386 against Cole for the game, touching him up for two hits in five at-bats, since in 2018 he’d batted .111 against him with only 2 hits in 18 at-bats. LeMahieu continued to be the Yankees hottest hitter.

Gleyber Torres also continued his torrid run towards Yankee immortality, hitting yet another blast, not off Cole against whom he went hitless, but off Houston reliever Joe Smith. Torres has had an impressive sophomore campaign for the Yankees in 2019 batting .278 with 38 home runs, a power display that surprised even Torres himself.

The broad view of the ALCS is that though the Yankees are down 2-1 there are still games to be played and opportunities to be capitalized on. The Yankees have the talent to not only compete but to win at the highest level; however, you can’t blame them for wishing for a rain-out on Wednesday to give them time to rest Masahiro Tanaka for a possible game four start, thus bypassing what would be an opener day for them.

Looking forward to a Yankee victory in game four behind the efforts of not only these Yankee stars but the team as a whole.

Let the New York Knicks battle for the guard positions begin

New York Knicks, Dennis Smith Jr.

The back-court for the New York Knicks always seems to be crowded.  And now, it’s about to get more congested with the return of Dennis Smith Jr. and Daymean Dotson.

Smith Jr. has been nursing a lower back injury and Dotson is coming off shoulder surgery this off-season.  The two should make their preseason debut this Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks.

Just as the Knicks welcome back Smith Jr. and Dotson, Frank Ntilikina is ‘probable’ with a groin injury.  This the same nagging injury that he dealt with all last season, limiting him to 43 games.

Coach David Fizdale said that sitting Ntilikina, and everyone really, is more a precautionary measure.  The Knicks are starting the season off with a lot of injuries.  The one’s mentioned above, Reggie Bullock’s back injury and Mitchell Robinson’s overall health, which is always in question.  It’s not the start to a season you want.

However, all of the Knicks current guards can make a case to start.  Dennis Smith Jr. was the leader in the clubhouse to start the season as their point guard.  He has been putting in the work this summer to improve his shot and they hope it pays dividends.  Plus, Smith Jr. clearly has the most upside and explosiveness to run the offense.

Elfrid Payton began making his case this preseason to steal minutes from Smith Jr.  Payton appears to run the offense well, but that’s it.  He doesn’t have the offensive capability like Smith Jr., but the offense seems to sort-of smoothly with Payton.

Ntilikina started to make his case for more time with his play during the FIBA World Cup.  Coach Fizdale noticed his progression and will try to incorporate that into the Knicks system.  Ntilikina’s progress appeared through his aggressiveness and confidence in taking his shot.  Now, it’s about staying confident in his game and healthy to perform.

RJ Barrett will have competition with Dotson’s return.  But, it’s unlikely that Dotson will not overtake Barrett since he’s coming off his shoulder injury.  Dotson will get his opportunity, when healthy, especially since he’s a above-average defender and can provide offensive support.

Let’s not forget about Allonzo Trier either.  Trier has proved he can be immediate offense off the bench.  Even when he got the starting nod last season, he made the most of his time.  Everyone knows what he brings to the table offensively.  But, if Trier can improve his defense, he makes a strong case to be the first guard off the bench.

The New York Knicks will be juggling with different guard combinations to start the season.  Fizdale will try to find what works best for the team and where he gets the most out of his guys.  Don’t expect all the guards to easily cave, it’s going to be a battle.

How A Wednesday Rainout Would Help The New York Yankees

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka

Though nothing has been announced yet, game four of the ALCS between the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros will likely be rained out. If it is rained out, game four would be played on Thursday and game five would be played Friday, eliminating the scheduled off-day. Games six and seven would go on as planned on Saturday and Sunday in Houston.

Both teams are planning to pitch a bullpen game in game four. The only positive thing from Aaron Boone’s awful managing is that everybody but Luis Cessa will be available on Wednesday if they play. Cessa pitched two shutout innings in game three, throwing 35 pitches. They would only go to him in an emergency.

We don’t know the official starter, but it’s safe to say that it would be Chad Green. The Astros also haven’t announced a starter.

What A Wednesday Rainout Does

The forecast shows rain setting in around 2PM in the Bronx and staying there until about midnight. With that, there’s no real way to move the game up or push it back.

Assuming there is a rainout, the ball would go back to Masahiro Tanaka and Zack Greinke on Thursday. It would be so huge having Tanaka pitch a must-win game four. Both guys would be on normal rest.

Then come Friday, James Paxton and Justin Verlander would pitch game five. It would be huge for the Yankees being able to face him at home.

Come game six, both teams would probably do their bullpen game. Gerrit Cole and Luis Severino would be on three days rest, and I can’t see them going in game six. If anything, the Yankees would even go to JA Happ or do some type of piggyback start with him and CC Sabathia.

If a game seven is played, Severino and Cole would pitch that game.

A rainout is likely on Wednesday night, and if it happens, it will help the Yankees a lot.

 

New York Giants could target highly touted wide receiver in 2020 NFL draft

With the New York Giants clinging to a string of hope to climb back into the NFC East playoff race, they find themselves in a peculiar position. Either they continue to lose and land in a top-10 spot in the 2020 NFL draft, or they miraculously burst into the flavorful and exciting team they’re bound to be (we hope).

Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones leads the charge, and gaining back both Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram against the Arizona Cardinals in week seven will undoubtedly help increase his potential for success. But in the off-chance they fall to the Cardinals and journey into unknown Detroit territory, they could be harping on the question — what unit needs to be helped the most?

The New York Giants might not be able to pass up this fantasy:

The 2020 NFL draft holds plenty of talent, and wide receiver might be the most package sealed overnight delivery option. There is talent at the position bleeding from the seams of the upcoming draft, but Alabama star wideout Jerry Jeudy lives in a world of his own.

Replacing Odell Beckham Jr. might not be necessary considering the success the team has had offensively when the starters are healthy, but bringing in an elite player to add another dimension to the offense could be enticing.

General manager Dave Gettleman will likely consider his options on the defensive side of the ball — inside and outside linebacker seem to be the most pressing need.

Jeudy is a 6-foot-1 speed-demon with a stanky leg move that’ll blow your socks off. His 538-yards and six touchdowns through six games are impressive, but the Alabama offense is so potent they don’t feel the need to force the ball his way. Last year, he hauled in 1315-yards and 14 scores through 15 games — he’s on pace to replicate those statistics.

Some scouts believe that Jeudy could be the 1st overall pick next draft, the first wide receiver to achieve that feat since Keyshawn Johnson. Nonetheless, I think that the Giants will stick to improving their defense, but if Jerry managed to slip a few picks to them, it would be incredibly hard to pass up on his skill-set. Especially, considering the potential out the Giants have in Golden Tate’s contract after 2020.

New York Knicks: Will Marcus Morris hurt or help Kevin Knox?

New York Knicks, Kevin Knox

The New York Knicks went on a spending spree this offseason, diving into the deep end of a talented second-tier of free agents after not being “cool” enough to appeal to the likes of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Brooklyn is the hip part of New York City now, or instead, their front-office is just capable. The Knicks have struggled in recent years, there’s no question bout that, but are looking to turn a new leaf with their signings. Julius Randle and Marcus Morris headline the group of misfit toys, but some might say the veterans will only hurt the development of the Knicks’ youth.

I say the Knicks are trying to win, if not for the fans, then for the sake of head coach David Fizdale’s job. Ultimately, injecting competition into a group of young players is a positive thing. These players are built to respond to adversity and change, which is why they’re now featuring at the NBA level.

New York Knicks: Is Marcus Morris helping Kevin Knox or hurting him?

Knox, who had a historically bad rookie season, averaged 12.8 points, 1.1 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game on his way to a 17-win campaign in 2018. He’s looking to elevate his game and increase his production in the form of scoring, and his bulkiness might indicate and improvement. One of the biggest hurdles for any young player his size and strength, two things Knox lacked in his first professional season.

This year, he has more muscle mass, which will give him the confidence to attack the rim with the more gusto. However, his playing time could be sliced in half by Marcus Morris, a player no a one-year deal with the Knicks.

After being asked about the reality of coming off the bench, Knox stated:

“I just got to bring that spark off the bench if that happens,” Knox said after the Knicks’ practice on Monday. “Come off, bring energy — those championship teams, that second team is always really good. You’ve got players that go out there, bring energy, keep the level up.”

Knox hauled in seven rebounds and 12 points against the Washington Wizards in the Knicks’ first preseason game of the season – a win. He missed the next game in which they lost due to a strained right calf. Being healthy is the priority for Knox if he wishes to see regular action, but he is embracing the fact that he may have to come off the bench in a less than ideal role. That’s part of growing, though, and it will help him find his groove going up against a far more savvy veteran.

 

New York Yankees: Should Edwin Encarnacion be benched?

After having a crazy-hot ALDS for the New York Yankees, Edwin Encarnacion has cooled down in the ALCS against the Houston Astros – a ton.

In Encarnacion’s last 12 at-bats, he’s only recorded one hit. His performance from the ALDS to now are polar opposites.

He’s looked lost in his at-bats thus far. Known for getting into deep counts and making pitchers work, Encarnacion has been swinging at first pitches and making weak contact. He’s been in big spots with the chance of knocking in some huge runs and let his team down.

Should Encarnacion be benched?

A 15-year-veteran knows the game completely. He knows that there’s gonna be ups and downs, and the only way to get out of them is to continue to get at-bats. Encarnacion also seems like a creature of habit. If he’s benched, it could throw off a pattern he’s had for the whole postseason.

It seems that this is just a mechanical problem. Popping a lot of balls up, just getting underneath the pitch a bit. There isn’t a problem with contact or timing, it’s just something with his bat through the zone.

15 years in the league, he’ll get out of this. He knows what he has to do to make adjustments to succeed again. When he’s on, he could be absolutely dangerous at the plate. Fans saw this during the ALDS.

If the New York Yankees do decide to sit him, Stanton could be an option to DH (if he’s healthy). Aaron Hicks could also be an option.

New York Yankees: Should fans be concerned?

New York Yankees, Edwin Encarnacion

It’s no question that the New York Yankees did not play well in Game 2 and Game 3. They had a chance to steal a game against Justin Verlander in Houston in Game 2 and blew the opportunity.

Game 3 was pretty much the same. Gerrit Cole, who didn’t even pitch that well, was still able to silence the Yankees’ offense. There was a boatload of chances the Yankees failed to capitalize on.

“It’s obviously a little frustrating we weren’t able to break through with him,” said manager Aaron Boone. “But I think up and down we gave ourselves a chance. And anytime you’re facing a guy like that, you want that kind of traffic. And we had that in several innings. He made big pitches when he had to.”

Should fans be worried?

It’s important to remember that the series is 2-1. Things can switch at the drop of a hat. Momentum changes, things happen. Obviously, not ideal to start the three games at home this way, but it’s not over yet. As the great Yankee Hall-of-Famer Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Something important to take away from these two games against Cole and Verlander is that the Yankees caused a lot of traffic and stress pitches on them. It’s the offense’s fault for not taking the opportunities to pull away.

Even though the Yankees’ offense hasn’t been able to produce the last two games, the games have been close. A 3-2 ballgame and a 4-1 game is something to realize. The defense is holding up. The pitchers are doing their jobs (except for a few exceptions).

Overall, look at the big picture. It’s a seven-game series with two more home games to go. The New York Yankees have the ability to flip a switch at any moment. Sit tight, the series isn’t over.

New York Giants news, 10/16 – Janoris Jenkins to the Jags? Deandre Baker, more

New York Giants, Janoris Jenkins

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

With the Jacksonville Jaguars sending star cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams for two first-round picks and more, an open spot on the defense now must be filled. The New York Giants could have just the player to offer in Janoris Jenkins, but it ultimately comes down to value.

The October 29 trade deadline for the NFL could spell some significant moves, but it all depends on the Giants’ record and if they’re realistically competing for a top spot in the NFC East. They currently sit just one game behind the Dallas Cowboys and Philidelphia Eagles, and with two tough matchups versus Arizona and Detroit, the Giants could be in a position to deal players instead of bringing them in.

Adding draft capital for the next offseason could be a good move considering their struggles on defense. However, the theoretical departure of Jenkins would force rookie DeAndre Baker into the No. 1 corner spot, and I don’t believe he’s ready for that type of challenge.

Baker has struggled this season to match up against quality pass-catchers, and trading Jenkins away would throw him right into the fire in a fight he likely cannot win. He’s still in dire need of development and refinement, but the New York Giants could see the value in gaining draft picks, especially if a team comes to the table for a third-round pick.

Injury update:

Both Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram practiced in a full capacity on Monday, giving us the indication that they will be available to play next Sunday against the Cardinals. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard is still working through the concussion protocol despite participating in individual drills, as well. He will likely miss week seven but could eye a potential return against Detroit — it’s still too early to tell.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day:

Jordan Raanan – A deeper look at Daniel Jones’ six interceptions this season

Paul Schwartz – Beware of angry Saquon Barkley

Mark Schofield – Daniel Jones: Progress report after four starts by Giants’ rookie quarterback
Dan Benton – Giants remain very much alive in struggling NFC East
Anthony Rivardo – New York Giants: Ranking Daniel Jones’s Top Five Plays Of The Season So Far